TCU Trounces Northwestern State, 93-79
Junior transfer Junior Blount scored 34 points in his TCU debut to lead the Frogs to a 93-79 win over Northwestern State Friday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The contest was a first-round game in pool play for the Las Vegas Invitational.
Blount hit seven three-pointers in 15 attempts as the guard made 12 of 27 shots shot attempts overall. His seven three-pointers tied him for fifth in made three -pointers in a single-game. In the second half, Blount scored 21 points, and hit four three-pointers to lead the Horned Frogs down the stretch.
"They (Northwestern State) played me tough," said Blount. "I was able to come off some great double-screens that our post men were setting for me to get open and knock down some shots. A lot of guys on this team can shoot well. Tonight, I was just able to get the looks and stay hot."
After the Frogs took an early 15-9 lead, Northwestern State went on a 24-9 run to take a 33-24 lead with five minutes left in the first half. The Frogs rallied to cut the deficit to 42-40 at the half.
In the second half, the Frogs went on a 14-10 run to take the lead at 54-52. The lead was TCU's first since the 8:58 mark of the first half, when the Frogs were up 24-22.
"I'm very proud of our players," said head coach Billy Tubbs, who earned his 580th career win. "I expected this kind of game because Northwestern State has good players and a lot of experience. We have a number of players who were playing in their first Division I game, and it showed in a lot of our breakdowns on offense and defense. However, the effort was there and we made plays even when we had some of those breakdowns. Under the circumstances, I feel that we played really well."
Five of the eight Frogs that played were seeing action in a Division I game for the first time. The five newcomers combined for 66 of the 93 points. In addition to Blount's heroics, freshman point guard Corey Santee dazzled the crowd with 16 points, seven assists and only one turnover. Junior college transfer Jamal Brown had seven points and 13 rebounds.
Senior post Marlon Dumont tied Brown for the team lead with 13 boards, while adding 21 points. Bingo Merriex, who missed the first two exhibition games due to a broken foot, scored six points in 14 minutes of action.
TCU has now won 21 consecutive home openers. The Frogs will travel to Las Vegas Saturday to continue play in the Las Vegas Invitational. TCU will next face Arkansas-Monticello on Monday, November 19. The contest will be carried on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM at 4:30 p.m. (central time).